Monday, February 20, 2006

Houston police chief wants you to stop worrying and learn to love Big Brother

Houston eyes cameras at apartment complexes


HOUSTON -- Houston's police chief on Wednesday proposed placing surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls and even private homes to fight crime during a shortage of police officers.

"I know a lot of people are concerned about Big Brother, but my response to that is, if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?" Chief Harold Hurtt told reporters Wednesday at a regular briefing.

Fantastic idea, Chief Hurtt. May I make a suggestion? How about we place the very first private home surveillance camera right in your bedroom? After the smashing success this is certain to be, we can follow up by placing another one in your bathroom. And we could even webcast the results over the internet; call it the "ChiefCam" or something similarly catchy. C'mon chief, step up and lead by example. Because, you know, if you're not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?

Scott Henson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Police Accountability Project in Texas, called Hurtt's building-permit proposal "radical and extreme" and said it may violate the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches.

Scott, please forgive me for saying this, but you are a milquetoast. Arguments like this highlight why I'm an anarchist and not a constitutionalist. Forget about the Fourth Amendment because the Constitution is a dead letter. Show me one ACLU lawyer who will argue the 4th Amendment case against these cameras and I'll show you hundreds more (plus G-d knows how many judges) who will gladly disagree if the agenda suits them. And once you lose in court, you've lost the argument for good. The whole principle of the police imposing surveillance cameras on private property is wrong no matter what the Constitution or the tea leaf reading courts have to say about it. Argue from the normative position, that true liberty can be rooted only in private property and the abolition of the state, and you will never go astray.

Andy Teas with the Houston Apartment Association said that although some would consider cameras an invasion of privacy, "I think a lot of people would appreciate the thought of extra eyes looking out for them."

Andy, I think you mis-spoke. I believe you meant to say:

"I think a lot of people would appreciate resent the thought of extra eyes looking out for at them."

There. Fixed that for ya.

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

No, thank you. I am perfectly capable of providing my OWN home security cameras for my OWN home. So, Big Brother can keep his to himself.